The trusted source for
healthcare information and
Read application rules; then read them again
Lack of compliance can result in disqualification
When applying for grant money, pay close attention to the application requirements and follow them precisely, advises Cathy Abeita, MA, an education program specialist at Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute in Albuquerque, NM.
Grants often have specific requirements; therefore, it is important to follow the instructions because if you don’t they may not even look at your proposal, says Virginia Forbes, MSN, RNC, program director of patient and family education at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City.
Instructions may include font size, page-numbering requirements, line spacing, size of margins, and number of copies to be submitted. "There are a lot of components in the writing, and it is important to strictly follow them. If they say they want 500 words on the background and one statement on your purpose and objective, that is what you need to give them, because that is what they are interested in seeing," says Forbes.
A budget will be required and the proposal usually specifies how it should be presented. There usually are budget lines for personnel and items other than personnel and the amount of money requested for each item will need to be included. The funding source often wants to know how much your health care organization is going to provide, she says.
Sometimes they want a bibliography, letters of support, and the resumes of those who will be running the project.
The proposal also may ask for a one-page abstract, a needs-and-background section that is no more than five pages, and a five-page program design description, adds Abeita. The instructions will provide information on what to include and what not include. Sometimes the proposal states that reviewers will not look at the appendix. Therefore, if there is something in the appendix that they need to be aware of, make sure the information is in the body of the grant.
Heed the objectives of the grant proposal and make sure that it is clear that your project meets them. Support your case site references and show statistics. For example, if you are talking about what has happened to the Native-American population with regards to diabetes, put charts in that are relevant to the population, advises Abeita. "If you are building upon some already successful programs, you want to make sure that information is in the text," she says.
Even if a timeline is not specifically requested, it should be considered for inclusion because it shows that the project is well thought out and planned, says Forbes. Usually, information on how you are going to evaluate the outcome of your project is required, Abeita says.
If any part of the project is research-based, find out what your health care organization’s policy is for approving research. There usually is an institutional review board. If this process isn’t followed, you may receive the grant and then find out you can’t do the project because the institutional review board didn’t approve the research, says Forbes.
While grants up to $2 million may be awarded by the funding source, it is wise to research the average dollar amount awarded and then request an amount just a little above the average, advises Abeita.
During the application process, always keep the due date in mind and make sure you allow enough time for edits because it is important to have someone other than the author read the copy to make sure it is clear. There also needs to be enough time to obtain the necessary signatures for the grant application. "More than likely, the grant writer doesn’t have the authority to commit the institution to the grant requirements," says Abeita.